3D In Motion (3DIM) – our experimental setup of capture, visualization and sonification of movements in real time – was presented at the Montreux Jazz Festival on the 12th of July 2014 during an one hour workshop. For this occasion, a special sound design was developed by Alain Renaud from MINTLab. A mapping of different artists’ audio tracks recordedduring their visitto the festivalwas performed. The tracks were generouslyprovided by theMontreuxJazzLab of EPFL.
Moreover, several improvements in the 3DIM application were achieved. For instance, an iPad App was implemented to easily switch between the sound design scenarios, a prompter was added to provide instructions to the user and an OSC connection between the sonification and graphical applications was programmed to control visual feedback from sound events.
Again, the feedback from the public was positive. We look forward to developing a first live performance using this system.
In collaboration with Alain Renaud from MINTLab, we gave on the 20th of April a workshop at Electron Festival in Geneva. At this occasion, we presented the 3D In Motion (3DIM) experimental setup of capture, visualization and sonification of movements in real time. About twenty people participated to the workshop, where they had the opportunity to test the system and to learn more about the underlying techniques.
It was the first time 3DIM was officially presented to the public and the feedback was positive. This gave us a good basis for further developing the system both in terms of visualization and musicality. The next demonstration will take place in June at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) Conference in London.
Last week, we were invited at the Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) 2014, a three weeks of compelling educational, cultural and recreational events organized by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). There, we did a 3 half day workshop on Motion Capture and 3D animation for the students of KAUST. Participants had the chance to test our Xsens MVN system and to follow a course on the challenges related to Mocap and 3D character modeling/animation through case studies and practical examples. According to students feedback, they really enjoyed the workshop!
Also, we participated to the Science Fun Fair, an opportunity for the community and schools from Saudi Arabia to come and learn about the science at KAUST. At this occasion, we did motion capture demos and showed several videos about our latest projects.
Yesterday, we tested with Tobias Baumann, game designer and freelancer, the Oculus Rift with our Xsens MVN in Unity 3D. The goal was to virtually hit columns of cubes and balloons. Some simple applications to start with, but resulting in a nice full-body immersive VR experience. The first tests were convincing. We will definitely continue working on this topic with Tobias. Stay tuned!
Sochi 2014 – the next Winter Olympic Games – is coming soon… For us, it was the opportunity to motion capture several winter sports! Indeed, we were contacted by Kenzan Technologies for the making of a 3D animation requiring different short captures of professional athletes. We spent a weekend in Zermatt to acquire the necessary data. The weather conditions were not on our side, -15° at the top, snow falls, zero visibility, not really the best conditions to go skiing with our Xsens system and a computer on the slopes! After experiencing a lot of issues, especially because of the cold, we were finally able to obtain good animation data during the weekend. We captured four athletes in the following disciplines: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboard.
Back in Geneva, we captured three additional people to complete our sample of winter sports: ice hockey, speed skating and bobsleigh. Now you are wondering… Is there a bobsleigh slope in Geneva? Well of course, there isn’t! But with some tricks, a good carpenter and a little practice, it is possible to produce the illusion… Note that for this last capture, it was not necessary to have a professional athlete!
We were recently contacted to perform the motion capture for an upcoming short movie entitled “The Great Imitator” created by Boris Beer. This short animated movie will be a tribute to Charlie Chaplin. Without giving too much details, the goal of the shooting was to capture some iconic scenes of Chaplin’s most famous movies.
For example, the first scene we captured was the one from The Great Dictator where Chaplin plays with an inflatable globe. We also had to capture the famous nut screwing scene from Modern Times as well as some scenes from The Kid. Fabrice Bessire (the actor) did a great job reinterpreting Chaplin in those scenes.
Finally, among the selected scenes was the famous “Bread roll dance” from The Gold Rush. In this scene, Charlie Chaplin creates a small ballet by giving life to two forks and two bread roll in order to entertain his friends. As you can see on the pictures, this capture required a very specific and unique bread motion capture setup (patent pending!).
We will talk again about this short film when it will be finished. Stay tuned!